by Daria Kelly Uhlig, Demand Media
Marketing is about influencing people who might buy your product or service, using messaging that conveys value. Old school marketing used traditional channels such as broadcast and print to communicate with the target market. New school marketers have kept the traditional methods that still work, and have combined them with digital technology to communicate with consumers on a different and deeper level. New school marketing relies heavily on such Internet channels as Web sites, blogs and social networks.
Constant Contact’s Social Media Quickstarter guide describes a marketing funnel that represents how companies prioritize lead generation and conversion. Old school marketing put prospecting at the widest part of the funnel. The first priority was to find as many consumers as possible, convert some of them into customers, and establish a relationship with a few of those customers to earn their loyalty. In his book, “Flip the Funnel,” author Joseph Jaffe acknowledges a basic tenet of new school marketing: there is high value in cultivating a loyal customer base and keeping it engaged with continued communications. Finding customers now occupies the narrowest part of the funnel — not because finding customers is less important than it was, but because the loyal customers now fill part of that role. Old school marketers were off the hook once consumers made the decision to buy. New school marketers devote significant resources to maintaining relationships with those loyal customers.
Four Ps Vs. Six Cs
The traditional marketing mix included the four Ps of product, price, placement and promotion: measurable, company-centric tactics that could be emphasized and deemphasized individually to form a customized value proposition. The new school’s six Cs, on the other hand, focus on consumers. They include contact, connect, conversation, consideration, consumption and community. It’s not enough for consumers to be aware of your product or service. You must establish a connection with them through meaningful contact. That contact should establish a dialog. New school marketers build communities around converted customers — those who have “consumed” the product or service — to continue the dialog and encourage loyalty and evangelism. Evangelists are satisfied users of a product who influence their family and friends to try it.
Outbound Vs. Inbound Marketing
HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan refers to outbound and inbound marketing on the company’s social media blog. HubSpot is widely regarded as having coined these terms to differentiate between old school “push” messaging and new school “pull.” Outbound, or push, marketing thrusts messaging on consumers via such channels as mailing lists, cold calls and advertising — channels consumers increasingly filter due to overload. Inbound, or pull, messages draw consumers in. Inbound marketers make it easy for consumers to find them when those consumers are searching for products or services they need, at the time they need them. Web sites, blogs and social media networks give marketers visibility, but on consumers’ terms. It’s a customer-centric approach.
Interruption Vs. Permission
Push marketing is on old school strategy that interrupts consumers at times of the marketers’ choosing — while consumers are watching TV, for example. It’s a very hit-or-miss method of reaching out. Most of the people marketers interrupt have no interest at all in the marketers’ products. Interruption marketing can even alienate consumers when it it’s executed in a way that clearly ignores consumers’ preferences. Dinner-time telemarketing calls are a prime example. According to marketing expert Seth Godin, interruption marketing is both expensive and inefficient. Permission marketing, on the other hand, is a new school approach that can reduce costs and increase efficiency. Godin defines permission marketing, a term he coined in a 1999 book of the same name, as “the privilege…of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” Permission-based messages are efficient because they’re only sent to consumers who are interested in them. You may, for example, require that visitors to your website subscribe to an email newsletter before they can view view premium content, or register with their email addresses and “like” your Facebook page as a prerequisite to entering a contest. Permission marketing works offline, too. Loyalty card programs are one way merchants reward frequent customers who share such information as their postal and email addresses, ages, income, and even cell phone numbers in order to qualify for discounts. Well-executed permission marketing establishes trust-based relationships between marketers and consumers.
About the Author
Daria Kelly Uhlig began writing professionally for websites in 2008. She is a licensed real-estate agent who specializes in resort real estate rentals in Ocean City, Md. Her real estate, business and finance articles have appeared on a number of sites, including Motley Fool, The Nest and more. Uhlig holds an associate degree in communications from Centenary College.